Liberty Newswire – 2/10/2012

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

This week’s newswire includes some excellent analysis from Chris Martenson and Charles Hugh Smith, the dirty secrets behind the recent rosy jobs report, more QE from across the pond, banks paying homeowners $35k to walk away from their underwater mortgages, and my (surprising) take on new online sales tax proposals. Continue reading

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Liberty Newswire – 2/2/2012

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

This week’s newswire includes California running out of cash, Europe rearranging furniture, a dose of reality for the housing market, and our latest $1T deficit. The real gem, however, is the final article which discusses a potential deal between Iran and India (and maybe China) to trade oil for gold- the implications of which are hard to fathom. Continue reading

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The Silver Singularity is Near

Price, as they say, is determined on the margins. This is especially true for inelastic goods. If 100 Tickle Me Elmo dolls exist in Walmart on Christmas eve, and 100 people absolutely need to have them, you don’t have a problem. The price will be some reasonable markup on the cost of production. However, if one more person walks in fearing the wrath of his child if there’s no Elmo under the tree, Walmart can quickly turn into a war zone. In Walmart, this supply shortage might be settled by shoving and hair pulling. In a civilized market, this supply, demand inequity is settled with price. In the case of Elmo in 1996, some dolls were reportedly sold in after markets for $1500.

This is an important concept to keep in mind when evaluating the silver market. Silver is interesting because it is actually two different markets. On one hand, silver is a physical commodity that is used in industry or warehoused as physical savings. This market is rather inelastic on the supply and demand side as I will discuss in a bit. On the other hand is the silver derivatives market, paper contracts for silver, that set the spot price on the margins. The paper market is elastic and depends more on investor psychology than underlying fundamentals. Continue reading

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Liberty Newswire – 1/17/2012

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

Nerd Alert version of the newswire. Or is it geek alert? I can never remember the difference. In any case, this week’s newswire discusses some pretty nerdy topics such as electronic circuits, the Federal Reserve Board, the derivatives market, and foreign Treasury bond purchases. Don’t fret, these articles are more interesting than they sound. Continue reading

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Happy New Year and Predictions for 2012 (Part 2)

Happy New Year!!!!!

Part 2 of this post is the good stuff– where I get to make my bigger, badder, crazier predictions for 2012. You would think I would learn my lessons on making aggressive predictions after my virgin foray into the prognostication business last year, which I evaluated in part 1.

But as I said last year, for predictions to be worth anything, they need to be bold, original and based on reasoning. So, this year I proceed, undaunted, with some bold, contrarian, off-the-wall predictions for next year’s ridicule fodder. Continue reading

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Happy New Year and Predictions for 2012 (Part 1)

Happy New Year everyone! The first full year of blogging is under our belt here at Liberty Insight. It’s been a great experience and I’ve really enjoyed researching and writing  about the economy and political events. My goal for 2012 is write a bit more and to really crank up the pageviews for the site by leveraging the networking power of the interwebs. I hope you’ll help me by sharing articles you like through facebook, email, or however you like to share. Thank you all for reading and best wishes for 2012.

2011 was a another crazy year in the socio-economic landscape with the Arab Spring, the Tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, a contentious debt ceiling debate in Congress, the killings of Osama bin Laden and Gadhafi, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and Occupy Wall Street, to name some hi(low)lights.  As crazy as 2011 may have been, in the words of Al Jolson, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” I believe 2012 will be bigger, badder and crazier than ever- bigger protests/riots, badder economies, and crazier people. With that in mind, it’s time to make some big, bad, crazy, predictions for 2012.

But before we do that, let’s look back on the predictions I made for 2011 on this very site. Some were spot on, some weren’t even close. In general, they were directionally right, but I got a little carried away with the magnitude (or perhaps the timing, as only time will tell). It’s definitely a bit humbling to put a prediction out there and have it fall flat on its face, but I’m not scared to admit when I’m wrong (or early). As I said last year, “The problem with putting bold and original predictions in writing is that you’re setting yourself up to look like a jackass. Oh, well. Fukkit.” Here are my 2011 grades. Continue reading

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Liberty Newswire – 12/16/2011

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

This week’s newswire discusses the real price tag for the Iraq war, a new wave of foreclosures, China’s shift away from U.S. Treasuries, my energy bill, and the burden of doing business in San Francisco. Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving! Make Next Year’s Feast 10% More Bountiful.

The cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is up 13% from last year. So says a new study from the American Farm Bureau Federation which has tracked the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten people– including turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings– since 1986. According to the study:

While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation.

A total of 141 volunteer shoppers from 35 states participated in this year’s survey. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey.

In other words, they ask real people to buy a fixed basket of goods each year to find out how much prices have risen and that number comes in at 13%. But how can that be when the government tells us that food inflation is about 4.7% this year. Perhaps, it’s because the hapless shoppers at the AFBF can’t put hedonics, substitution and weighting in their shopping carts.

In other news, that drive to Grandma’s will be 17% more expensive, as average gas prices have gone from $2.87 to $3.35 over the past year. But never fear, the feds assure us that the all important “core” CPI (which excludes superfluous items like food and energy) is only up 2.1% year over year– right on track with their targets.

With these seemingly crazy price rises it’s understandable that many people may not realize that the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner is actually down 10% from last year. (That is, if you save your money in gold, instead of green pieces of paper.) This year, a full Thanksgiving dinner for ten people can be had for less than .03 ounces of gold. In fact, since the AFBF study began in 1986, the price of a turkey dinner has fallen by 60% in terms of gold while it has risen 71% in dollar terms.

So my question to you, dear reader, is this: Are you still saving money in dollars? Why?

It’s time to stop thinking of gold and silver as “investments” and think of them as what they really are– money. Obviously, you need some cash to pay your bills and handle your day-to-day expenses, but for the money you are socking away as savings, doesn’t it make sense to save in a currency that doesn’t lose value every year? If you save in gold and silver, next year’s Thanksgiving dinner could be 10% more bountiful.

With Black Friday approaching, instead of running out to the store for the latest gadget from China that will end up in your garage, consider picking up some silver coins or ingots to slip in your loved ones’ stockings. Or perhaps a shiny gold coin for that special someone. And be sure to check out the Liberty Insight “Money” page to understand why “cash is trash” (as Robert Kiyosaki says) and gold is the ultimate money.

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Liberty Newswire – 11/21/2011

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

This week’s newswire sheds light on shady (to put it nicely) dealings at MF Global, a grand failure of the budget “super committee”, the rapidly unravelling European sovereign debt crisis, corrupt politicians (ok maybe that isn’t news), and more. Continue reading

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Reflections on Veteran’s Day!

Life these days is a constant flurry of activity, information and noise. Even our down time is spent absorbing television rays, texting, dodging traffic, or planning our next activity. That’s why it’s important to take a deep breath every once in a while, find a quiet place, clear your mind, and reflect on life.

Veteran’s Day is a day of mixed emotions for me. I am proud of our country and the values upon which it was founded. I am grateful for the military men and women who have risked their lives to keep us free. I am amazed at the honor and compassion our troops exhibit in the face of grave danger. I am humbled by the generations of soldiers who have fought to protect the dream of America.

At the same time I am disgusted by our foreign policy of aggression that does not serve to protect our homeland and only serves to create more enemies. I am saddened by the thousands of soldiers who have been killed and tens of thousands who have been severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am unimpressed with the American people who buy into the war propaganda and acquiesce to these wars that enrich war profiteers while bankrupting our nation. I feel sorry for the soldiers who die oversees to protect our Constitution, while politicians at home are systematically destroying or ignoring the very Constitution they have sworn to uphold. And, especially today, I am sickened by the way our government treats our veterans when they return home from serving their country.

I address many of these issues in my previous post “You Help Hospitalized Veterans“, so I won’t rehash it all here. I hope this Veteran’s Day, you will read that article and others, and spend some time thinking about the way we treat our vets.

If you agree that we can do more, perhaps you will consider contributing to Ron Paul’s Veteran’s Day money bomb. Ron Paul is the only candidate serious about bringing our troops home safely and has been a champion for military veterans in Congress. In fact, Ron Paul’s presidential campaign has received more donations from active duty military personnel than all other candidates combined including Barack Obama. Maybe it’s because our troops understand that these wars in the middle east are no-win quagmires that do nothing to enhance our national defense. Maybe it’s because his plan to save the economy cuts $1 trillion in the first year and balances the budget in three years, but doesn’t cut one penny from veteran’s programs.

I would like to thank our veterans for their brave service to our country. I support our veterans by supporting Ron Paul. You can check out Ron Paul’s policy statement of foreign policy here.

Ron Paul receives more donation’s from active duty military personnel than all other Presidential candidates combined.

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